“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
American Forum embraces the notion that core ideal of democracy is not to create governing institutions. Instead it is a rejection of top-down power structures in favor of solutions reached by consensus of the people who make up a community. In order to be as true to that ideal as possible, a large and complex nation like the modern United States compromises on this out of necessity. From that perspective, we subscribe to the belief that the ideal, grass-roots solutions from communities, is something we should always strive for.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break the bonds of our affection.”
Few human activities represent such a vibrant and highly charged junction of moral, social, economic, and spiritual convictions as democratic politics. This makes political agendas, especially in America, contentious things on a deeply personal level. While some go to extreme ends to advance their goals in this setting, the greater tragedy is how common it has made open hostility towards people of differing political opinions. This atmosphere has paralyzed some of our most important functions at a time when the republic can ill-afford to be divided against itself.
“The medium is the message.”
A forum is a meeting-place of ideas, where people share knowledge and facts compete for credibility before an audience of spectators. The American Forum project is an attempt to revolutionize internet-age media around the principles of the traditional forum. This means facilitating open and direct dialogue between competing political perspectives, rather than allowing them to continue talking past each other. Reconciling, not adjudicating, the various perspectives of our civil society is the principal objective.